May 15, 2013
One of the next big (or small) things in tech is bound to be smart watches, and all thanks can be directed toward the KickStarter darling; the Pebble ePaper Watch. With rumors of Apple and others stepping into the ring this is one product category that is bound to get serious. As is usually the case, small developers are a step ahead of their larger, corporate counterparts and a slew of smart watches are starting to appear across the internet. Pebble set the look with its big, friendly design and ePaper display and it was only a matter of time before a higher end, fashion oriented competitor emerged. Correctly assuming that the most stylish members of society would probably be repulsed by adorning their wrists with a hunk of plastic, Won Rhee of San Ramon, California has come out with the first smart watch that looks more like a Breitling than a Medical Alert bracelet.
The watch, named Vachen, breathes class in its KickStarter video, promo photos, and quality of construction materials. This is definitely a watch for that lawyer uncle that already has a tie for every occasion and a head cover for every club. But, moving past the varied, and classic visuals; when looking at the Vachen’s software it is obvious that it has borrowed heavily from Apple’s older square iPod Nano in making each icon big and leaving the screen as clutter-free as possible. The main draw here, unlike with Pebble, is that Vachen is supposed to be a watch first and foremost, albeit a watch that can change faces at a beckoning tap. This is to ensure that no matter what situation the wearer finds themselves in their watch will always look appropriate and aptly accent any outfit. Behind the watch face, however, is a plethora of pre-installed apps that display notifications from a connected phone, a stop watch and alarm, and even a compass.
Like most smart products nowadays there will be an open app store which means that the uses for the Vachen smart watch are practically limitless. It might not be in everyones budget but I have no doubt that a consumer niche does exist and they will surely be enough to make this a successful product for years to come, and it will be interesting to see if Vachen can grow their brand to rival established fashion juggernauts.